A Japanese specialty based on boiled rice flavored with a sweetened rice vinegar, a mixture called sushi meshi. Once cooled, the rice has a glossy sheen and separates easily. There is a wide variety of sushi including nigiri sushi (thin slices of raw fish seasoned with wasabi and wrapped around or layered with this rice), hosomaki (thin sushi rolls) and futomaki (thick sushi rolls). To make these rolls, various chopped vegetables, raw fish, pickles, tofu, etc. are enclosed in sushi rice and wrapped in thin sheets of nori (seaweed). The rolls are then cut into slices. Sushi are designed to be finger food and can be served as appetizers, snacks or a full meal. Soy sauce is often served with sushi for dipping.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.